News & Analysis

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    Quri launches Impact to help advertisers measure if the billions spent on in-store ads are working

    It’s shocking, in this day and age, how little visibility many advertisers have into their campaigns. Be it TV, print, or outdoor advertising, if it’s not digital, advertisers are really guessing at the impressions, and the resulting lift they’re getting from their advertising spend. But one of the biggest categories in all of offline advertising is about to get a major injection of intelligence. Quri, a two-year-old retail intelligence startup, is launching its IMPACT product today with the…
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    Reddit’s $50M funding round highlights the tech industry’s hypocritical privacy views

    Reddit announced yesterday that it has closed a $50 million funding round from investors like Y Combinator president Sam Altman, Peter Thiel, and Sequoia Capital’s Alfred Lin. (A number of Pando investors, including Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz, also participated in the round.) And, according to VentureBeat, all of these investors are fine with the way the site handled the people who shared images taken from numerous celebrities’ personal accounts. The funding round was first reported by Re/code in the…
  4. Skiing

    Liftopia introduces dynamic pricing, wants to price ski lift tickets more like airplane seats

    The ski and snowboard industry is about to see its biggest shakeup since the invention of artificial snow. Today, the vast majority of lift tickets are purchased “at the window” on the day of usage. This is bad for resorts, because there is no predictability and no ability to separate sales from the vagaries of weather. For consumers, it means that all tickets cost the same, regardless of demand. Thanks to Liftopia, the industry is about to go the…
  5. MCarney Power Ranger

    JibJab enters the messaging game, wants to be the “funny button” for all your communications needs

    Fifteen years after launching as a fledgling digital content shop in New York and after surviving two economic downturns, JibJab Bros Studios today is profitable and employs more than 75 people. Having relocated its operations to Santa Monica a decade ago, the company bootstrapped itself for more than half its life before bringing on venture backing only after things were running smoothly. Throughout, there has been one guiding principle that has governed all of the company decision making, according to co-founder and…
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    How Twitter became the LinkedIn of the adult industry

    Daisy Ducati tweets selfies — of her skintight red latex dress, stockinged feet and naked body. It’s the sort of thing that could get most people fired, but in Ducati’s case, it’s actually gotten her hired. That’s because Ducati works in the adult industry, which increasingly treats 140-character missives and follower counts like cover letters and resumes. It’s how San Francisco-based porn director Courtney Trouble discovered her — and how could she not with tweets like, “‘How was your…
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    Re/code: Tony Hsieh stepped down as Downtown Project leader weeks ago

    Amid reports of massive layoffs at the Downtown Project, an effort to revitalize Las Vegas, sources tell Re/code that its leader, Tony Hsieh, stepped down weeks ago. [Source: Re/code]
  9. Hsieh

    Fired from Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project? Cool! Now you can attend Tony Hsieh’s $250 music festival!

    Earlier today, it was reported that Tony Hsieh’s Las Vegas Project has fired a ton of its staff amid rumors of total organization meltdown. A few hours later, this… uh… slightly ill-timed email was sent to members of the Downtown community by the Hsieh-backed Life Is Beautiful festival, suggesting they skip work to attend the $250 music event. Delivering happiness indeed. (Hsieh’s Vegas Tech Fund is an investor in Pando and was previously an investor in my company, NSFWCORP. As…
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    Breaking: ‘Bloodletting’ at Downtown Project with massive layoffs

    “Sources say there has been a “bloodletting” at DTP, with numerous layoffs beginning this morning. Employees have been called in for individual meetings and entire teams have been cut from the payroll.” – Las Vegas Weekly
  12. tech-tv-entertainment

    Amazon’s “Transparent” is the best show ever created by a tech company

    Making great television is hard. It doesn’t matter whether it’s produced by a longtime incumbent with decades of experience like HBO, or a tech company like Netflix venturing from the safe solace of zeroes and ones into the much less predictable realm of characters and story. Major networks order over a dozen pilots each year, less than half of which are picked up. This year alone, at least 40 shows are slated to be cancelled. So it’s little wonder that tech companies have…
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    This Thursday: Mobile is Dragging You Global (Whether You Like It Or Not) — A Pando Webinar

    Being a founder-CEO can be a thankless job, particularly if you’re doing it for the first time. Famed VC Ben Horowitz has pegged it at a whopping 22% success rate. But there’s one task that often makes even the most seasoned leader look like an idiot: Going international. You can go too slow. (eBay) You can move too fast. (Groupon, via acquisitions) You can move too fast, without buying any copycats. (Fab.) Or worse: You might only succeed internationally, ala Friendster or…
  15. aol

    Why an AOL merger is Yahoo’s best hope now

    The Marissa Mayer era of Yahoo came to be because of the wishes of an activist investor. So it seems oddly appropriate that Mayer’s dreams of reviving Yahoo’s growth may be thwarted by yet another shareholder activist, one who wants Yahoo to do exactly what Mayer does not: slash jobs and merge with AOL. These activist investors normally circle around companies that are losing money in a grim cycle of irreversible decline. That doesn’t describe Yahoo, whose core operations are profitable and stable.…
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    Gumroad releases an ambitious mobile app to help even more of the “artist middle class” get paid

    Gumroad CEO Sahil Lavingia calls them “The SMBs (small- or medium-sized businesses) of creative content.” Patreon CEO and Pomplamoose singer Jack Conte calls them “the creative middle class.” They are the musicians, filmmakers, and comic book artists who instead of flying around in private jets and trashing luxury hotel rooms are quietly creating art people love and making a living off it. For them, Spotify or Hollywood studios or big publishing houses do not necessarily represent…
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    As Icahn and Apple Pay fight to take credit, a spin-off won’t solve all PayPal’s problems

    Carl Icahn deserves credit for loosening the lid on the eBay-PayPal spinoff jar, after nearly a year of activist shareholder fights in search of that outcome. But as the San Jose company announced today plans to complete the separation by late 2015, it’s Apple’s entrance into the mobile payments market via its newly revealed Apple Pay platform that deserves the lion’s share of credit (or blame) for busting the lid off this jar entirely. Of course, no one at eBay…
  19. You've Got Mail

    Front raises $3.1M to take the misery out of enterprise email through intelligent collaboration

    Email has long been the scourge of many office places, with inboxes often resembling warzones of unread messages, stars and tags, missing attachments, and all around chaos around next steps for each item. These problems are only exacerbated when multiple people are included on an email chain. Front is a shared inbox and collaboration platform for enterprise email that looks to solve many of these problems. Today, the Summer 2014 Y Combinator grad announced $3.1 million in Seed funding…
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    China’s strange support for Apple’s latest security features

    Apple will be allowed to sell its new iPhones in China on October 17, according to a statement released by the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which is said to have delayed the smartphones’ launch in China due to concerns about their security features. China’s government has grown increasingly wary of Apple’s products in the wake of Edward Snowden’s disclosure of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, some of which are said to have direct access to…
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